Chilecito – what a quiet city at the foot of the Andes. I arrived there at the end of October at lunch time. It was hot, the streets were empty. The town felt so little without any signs of movement. Even the park in the centre was empty.
I stayed in Chilecito for a couple of days, and on the second day I saw the first pattern of Argentinian siesta. In the morning, it is busy. Groups of men sit on the tables at the cafés near the park, they talk to each other and shout out to friends on scooters who drive around and around. The little town feels bigger, it feels so alive.
And out of a sudden: it’s quiet. 2 pm. People simply vanish. The park is empty, the street is empty, the cafés are closed. Siesta. I sat in the middle of the park and I’ve never found such a quiet and peaceful place to read a book. You don’t feel like you miss out on anything else. It is too hot to do something. You can just sit in the shade, feel the silence of the city and imagine the next story.
At 5 pm, the noise and movement and life slowly starts again, reaching its high point at 6pm, going into the darkness. I only found one person to speak English with. I tried to entangle myself in some long-lost Spanish skills.
Those were my quiet days in Argentina. You need them sometimes.